The artists move into the industrial, run down part of town. Rents are cheap, spaces are big. Cafes and bars start to open. The area becomes hip, creativity is flowing…and the lawyers move in. Nice restaurants and high end clothing stores open up.
Get 'em while they're hot!
The prices skyrocket. The artists are forced to move out, the Soul fades…ah, but it’s a good investment! The Condos pop up, get ‘em while they’re hot!
There are so many parts to this scenario that irk me, I don’t know where to begin!
First off, who created the value of this highly desirable place? I’d say the artists. I’d also say the suburbs are so boring, people are starved for soul, a “realness” with vibrant, alive streets. So we as a society get some of the credit, in a reverse kind of way.
The next think that irks me is how, in our mad rush for a great place to live, we end up doing great damage to the very thing we love; … READ MORE >>
Black Soil, biochar, a special kind of charcoal, has been discovered in the Amazon jungles, as well as in Japan. Tierra Preta, as it is also called in Brazil, has amazing properties. In the midst of large amounts of rainfall, where large quantities of biochar have been introduced into the soil, the soil’s fertility has lasted for centuries. This special kind of charcoal retains nutrients for plants and creates a most hospitable environment for microorganisms and has provided fertile soils for large populations in the Brazilian jungles for several thousand years.
As the “charcoal” withstands being broken down for long periods of time, modern soil scientists and farmers have realized Biochar could be the most effective way to sequester carbon out of the atmosphere, while adding to a soil’s fertility. Most any material that contains carbon can be “cooked” to not only create a charcoal like product, but also the gases released during cooking process, pyrolysis, can be used as a substitute for fossil fuel. These two together have raised the specter that creating biochar out of waste carbonaceous material (agricultural wastes, etc) could be a major part of a long term solution to global warming, while adding to a soil’s fertility… READ MORE >>
I’ve read a couple of articles about cap and trade, and the authors seem to think it’s bogus. Way too complicated. A boondoggle to make the same clever people who brought us the foreclosure bummer even richer.
Here’s Anne Leonard’s take on it.
The idea I like is to tax carbon, and lift taxes on income. In this way, folks will be encouraged to take their savings and invest in renewable energy. I cannot believe how happy newspaper stories report on increase fossil fuel production, or the good news about nuclear energy…What planet are these people living on???… READ MORE >>
“Oh so many, ways to be wicked”
I woke this morning to the song playing in my head, Maria McKee and Lone Justice belting it out, my personal soundtrack….the Japanese Meltdown is in Day 6.
I call em Impending Bummers. When I think about doing something unknown, I can have a lot of apprehension, I can feel downright scared. I bite my finger nails, tear at my cuticles.
Maybe it’s the thousands of years of our collective worrying about getting eaten by a sabertooth tiger. Or if Genghis Khan is going to show up in the spring this year…That may explain where the dread, this background anxiety, comes from. It certainly pushes me on a spiritual path in an attempt to find relief, but face it, as stewards of our amazing beautiful spinning green and blue planet, we suck…. READ MORE >>
As I was leaving Trader Joe’s parking lot today, I glanced at the homeless guy as he raised his cardboard sign. I only caught the first word on his sign “hardtimes….”. For several blocks I mulled over going back and giving him some money. I was also thinking of my friend, a metal worker, who was angry about a couple of recent bills for emergency doctor’s office visits; “Ten minutes, $250 and $325! And I have medical insurance!” he exclaimed several times, outraged. Turns out February is a slow month, and the go-go days of the construction industry seem long gone. He has a wife and two kids and pays $780 a month in health insurance ( up $45 as “he had a birthday” said the insurance company recently).
The recent unprecedented cold weather froze lots of pipes around town, and as a general contractor, I got a month of good work putting a couple of condos back together.
All of these thoughts came together, precipitated by the homeless guy’s” hardtimes”, and reminded me of all the possible bummers we face; Peak oil and rising gasoline demand worldwide, honey bee’s dying off en mass, fracking water contamination,… READ MORE >>